BJP Names 157 Candidates For Bengal In Second List, Mukul Roy To Contest

Dilip Ghosh, the BJP's Bengal chief, is not contesting the Assembly election.

Bengal Assembly Polls: BJP leader Mukul Roy will be contesting from Krishnanagar

Kolkata:

The BJP on Thursday announced the names of 157 candidates for the last four phases of the Bengal polls and among the biggest names to join its battle for the assembly is former Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy who is now contesting Assembly elections from Krishnanagar North in Nadia district.

This is the second time Mr Roy is fighting a poll in his political career. He had contested for the first time on a Trinamool ticket from the Jagatdal Assembly constituency in 2001 and he had lost. The TMC had then sent him to Rajya Sabha.

Dilip Ghosh, the BJP's Bengal chief, is not contesting the Assembly election. "This will leave me free to campaign in all the constituencies in the coming weeks, " Mr Ghosh said.

The big talking points in the BJP list. Yet another member of Parliament has been fielded for the Assembly election, bringing up the total number of such candidates to five. 

The latest is Jagannath Sarkar MP from Ranaghat in Nadia district. He has been deployed at the Santipur assembly constituency in the same district.

The first four BJP MPs to be deployed were named in an earlier list and included Cooch Behar MP Nishith Pramanik named for the Dinhata Assembly seat, Hooghly MP Locket Chatterjee for Chinsurah, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta for Tarakeswar and Asansol MP Babul Supriyo for Tollygunge in Kolkata city.

The TMC has taken potshots at the BJP for being so short of candidates, they have had to feed their members of parliament.

The BJP has also fielded nine former Trinamool MLAs. In a bid to avoid a rebellion like the ones seen in almost a dozen seats after the first list came out, the BJP fielded these candidates not in their old assembly seats but from different ones.

Arindam Bhattacharya of Santipur for example has been filled from Jagatdal, Shilbhadra Dutta of Barrackpore has been fielded from Khardah.

However, there has been trouble for Arindam Bhattacharya at the Jagatdal assembly seat, where he has been fielded.

Protest also broke out in Jalpaiguri town, in Malda's Harishchandrapur, Durgapur East, Pandaveswar, Dum Dum, Rajarhat Gopalpur and many more areas. Offices were vandalised, set on fire, locked up and broken down on Thursday. Tyres were burnt on the roads and roads blocked, posters and banners torn down. The protests were directed by the BJP supporters and candidates who were with Trinamool till the other day.

There are nine such MLAs in Thursday's list.

The star quotient in this list is also high. Popular Sun star Sravanthi Chatterjee has been fielded from Behala West. Film star Payal Sarkar had been fielded earlier from Behala East.

Actor Rudranil has been filled from Bhowanipur, now vacated by Mamata Banerjee. Rudranil was at one time very close to the Chief Minister but drifted to the BJP recently.

Footballer Kalyan Chaube will contest from the Maniktala seat in North Kolkata.